Kaiser | Dessert & Sudden Death my daughters love it." How twisted I thought. "Well, Bob taught me to love foie gras," I wrote back, "And I was thinking that when we have our discussion let's add some warmth to it by having it over lunch." I called Capsouto Freres and confirmed that they had liver on their lunch menu. Dr. Raccuia agreed to meet me at noon on Friday, May 4th, forty-eight days after my husband's death. When I arrived Dr. Raccuia was standing outside the restaurant in his white Izod shirt and khaki pants looking like an ordinary man, not the superhero of whom his colleagues said in awe, "In an operating room the knife dances in his hands." We were seated at a table for four and to my right were the French doors with the billowing white curtains that I remembered so well from the night Bob and I were engaged. It felt bittersweet to be there without him. The waiter handed each of us a leather-bound menu, which we immediately began studying as if our lives depended on the choice we made. After a short while Dr. Raccuia asked, "So, what are you going to have?" "I have to order the liver," I replied, "but I'm not sure I’ll like it." "Order the liver," Dr. Raccuia offered, "and order another dish you know you like and I’ll eat the liver if you don’t." I closed my menu. When the waiter arrived I ordered the calfs liver and veal scaloppine. "Pellegrino?" Dr. Raccuia asked me. I really want wine, I thought. Bob Kaiser would have ordered red wine. But will wine make me less sharp? "And a big bottle of Pellegrino," I said to the waiter before he trotted off. In the bag that sat in the chair beside me I had six pages of questions for Dr. Raccuia that I had been writing and rewriting for weeks. I wanted to go over every detail of the operation. I wanted to understand what happened. I wanted my husband back. We did the small-talk thing you do when you hesitate to tackle the really big thing you want to talk about. He asked me where the kids and I would be going that summer. The question made me angry. It assumed we had enough money to travel. He told me that his wife and kids went upstate for the summer. He visited them when he could, but he didn't like being away from them for weeks at a time. He was the cook for his family, just like Bob had been my cook. On Christmas Day he always made a goose dinner for his wife who was Scandinavian. On his way home after a day at the hospital he always picked up a carton of milk. Against all my expectations I liked
Published on May 30, 2011
The Creative Nonfiction Issue, guest edited by author and award-winning teacher Mark Ari, includes 12 works of Creative Nonfiction and artwo...